Hi, I signed a couple of weeks ago then realized that I didn't really have a clue about the issue. So I have been studying it all from all sides of the argument, and have come to the conclusion that I am still happy that I have signed.
I have one major issue though. What would happen to the rural communities that depend either directly or indirectly from the shoots? Presumably a lot of people in the villages/towns around the shoots would go out of business? I know it sounds a bit 'Countryfile', but these are the sorts of issues that can wipe out the bigger ones.
Does anyone know roughly how many grouse moors are in the UK? I couldn't find this out. I found that anywhere from 2,500 to 4,000 people are directly/indirectly employed due to this industry - does that sound right?
I am still in favour of a ban (can't really see it happening in the near future though), and am becoming more and more concerned (as I get older and have more time on my hands to ponder these things) about our impact on our land, as well as our (general population) arrogance at putting our own species first, middle and last (I do it myself), but I suppose if we want to achieve anything for nature in our limited area of land, we have to be able to convince the people that it should be done.
I am asking here because you people all are so knowledgeable, and I am so not, and want to be, so I can get involved now I have a little time on my hands. (Thirty years too late to make a difference, I guess.) I don't think I've had an informed opinion on anything since The Style Council broke up, and then deciding which disposable nappies to put on my kids (!!!) (kids - another uninformed decision...) and they are all grown up now. Also, my short term memory is, well, I've forgotten what it is now, so I tend to forget what I've been told weeks/months ago - I'm writing it all down now!
Would love to hear your thoughts on this side of the issue - thank you so much.
I would guess that the number of people who actually work on driven grouse moors is not as great as often gets mentioned.
It has also been highlighted that if as many people work on them as claimed and the money they claim to put into the rural economy is correct then people are being paid below the legal minimum wage.
A shoot close to me claims to only have 8 days driven grouse shooting per year so again, the numbers working on grouse moors seems to be a bit of an exaggeration.
Even if they employ 20 beaters per shoot the numbers are low at 160 working days, that's about 7 months’ work for 1 person. It’s less than the working hours of a corner shop and we all subsidise this. It would be really interesting how much these jobs are costing in subsidies to these grouse moors. My guess is that a lot of the money goes into the rich landowners pockets.
The grouse moors are not run to employ people, they are run to make rich people richer and to make rich customers happy that they’ve managed to kill a lot of innocent birds and mammals for fun.
As for what will they do, certain places in Scotland make a lot of money from wildlife tourism. I don’t see why grouse moors which can become wildlife havens can’t do the same thing.
Thanks for your replies. Boom, I bought "Inglorious" last night and will start to read today. Mickr, thanks for your reply - I felt that the numbers I had seen didn't really add up, and I'm sure the landowners could find other means to make money. I also wonder what might happen to the moorland if the shooting was banned. I will get on with Mark Avery's book as I'm sure it will answer many of my questions.
I think you've completely missed the indirectly part. The numbers given are not meant to be people employed on the actual moor its the jobs that are indirectly linked to it such as hotels,pubs and restraunts etc that heavily rely on income from shooting especially as it mostly takes place outside of the main tourist seasons.
For those struggling to find detail amidst the hyperbole the 'joint action plan to increase the English hen harrier' is attached in pdf below,
I've now read "Inglorious" by Mark Avery and, not being someone who really understands politics, or debating issues, I have read it more emotively, so I tend to say to myself "is that true?" to everything. I have to say this book answered all my questions, and removed any doubts I had about signing the petition. My only concern was about the effects on rural economy and rural livelihoods, but what really struck me reading the book was, how many rural economies and livelihoods were damaged or destroyed in the flooding in rural communities due in great part to the mismanagement of the land. Saving one apparently small rural economy (which is subsidised by us) costs not only other communities, but also the natural environment. To my mind now, it is a "no-brainer" as they say. Sign the petition, get driven grouse shooting banned.
For those interested the petition (which runs until 20th September) has now reached 32,000 signatures and has received a reply from the government minister responsible.